Views of Antiquity, a storyteller panorama, a true epic.
In 1776, Parisian artist J-B. Hilaire sketches travels with Count Choisseul-Gouffier sailing the Aegean coast with cartographers of the French Navy in search of famous sites from the Golden Age of Greece -- along the the western end of the ancient Silk Road from Smyrna (Izmir) to Ephesus, Istanbul, and Ottoman settlements, with camel caravans, soldiers on horseback, expansive vistas and classical ruins -- a year of re-discoveries. Count Choisseul-Gouffier and Hilaire return as heroes to Paris to publish Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce, a monumental tome and the first of a new genre in publishing. A second edition inspires Dufour in 1815 to enlarge Hilaire's travel engravings for panoramic scenic wallpaper. Artisans working in extreme secrecy carve over a thousand woodcuts to print in layers of 5 grisaille/gray or sepia tones and stencils -- expensive masterworks now so rare, almost a lost art.
These papiers peints panoramiques anciens are extremely rare masterworks of interior illusions, depth effects, far horizons with complex perspectives that totally pop with exotic travels across vast landscapes, ever more enchanting after years of observation and revelations.
Wallquest wallpaper artists and printers have renewed state of the art scans to retain the wallpaper's two-century patina. Wallquest is one of the most respected and innovative wallpaper manufacturers in the USA and the world, with products sold in more than fifty countries.
New sepia light with pale blue sky layer above, medium sepia below
Only 4 or 5 examples of this 19th century original Dufour wallpapers in fair to good condition exist today. After 180 years, surface cracks appear, thousands of tiny flakes fall off, winter water leaks in a summer house accumulate, scenes deteriorate and begin to disappear. Noticing scenes in distressed condition, Holly Alderman envisioned digital capture for conservation and to produce fine art reproductions, for the heroes, both the 19th century original artisans and the interpid travelers in the scenes, to return in new light -- meaning on the screen for all to enjoy and also in rooms with electric light, which was introduced to great estates about 70 years after the wallpaper was first installed in Europe and exported to North America.
Innovative fine art printing today allows printers and color separation artists to renew images to retain the unique subtle patina of centuries, with adjustments for lighter monochromes with blue sky options and special effects to enhance inner light or contemporary posterized views.